Bisoke Mountain, also known as Visoke is an extinct volcano in northern Rwanda. It is one of the 8 volcanic mountains within the Virunga ranges that span Rwanda, Uganda and D.R. Congo at the edge of the East African Rift valley. Bisoke is located on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo though its summit is in Rwanda. It stands at an altitude of 3,711 meters, making the 5th highest among the Virunga Mountains.
A hike at this extinct volcano is phenomenal as it exposes visitors to great scenic views, smoky volcanoes in the region, amazing mountain vegetation and a stunning crater lake on its peak.
Hiking Bisoke volcano is a challenging though rewarding adventure that most adventure seekers are longing for. Walking through the slippery trails, that are unclearly paved and having to hold onto a walking stick for support in order to make it to the top is one lifetime experience that you will cry out, curse and get angry yet the top reveals the worth of the hike.
Hiking Bisoke Itinerary.
A typical trekking day to the top of Mount Bisoke commences at 7:00am from Kinigi park headquarters, just like most other treks in Volcanoes National park. After a briefing session that happens at 8:00am, trekkers set off with their hiking gear, snacks/packed lunch and a mountain guide who has experience in the terrain and general weather dynamics at Mountain Bisoke.
The trail head of Mount Bisoke is far away from the park headquarters where briefing is done, and you have to drive for about 45 minutes to reach there via a bumpy road. It is not a very difficult hike, and even inexperienced hikers can trek to the top and descend back to the base on the same day.
Remember to use the services of an onsite porter who can hired at a cost of about 10-15$, but these would be necessary to carry your heavy luggage, your trekking gear and snacks which you use along the hike.
Endeavor to pick a nicely crafted hiking stick from the ranger before the start of the hike because moving through the very steep and very muddy terrain requires you all the support you can even if from a stick.
As you climb to the higher terrains of Mount Bisoke, you will be lucky to encounter several species of primates endemic to this area, the great scenery which can be well captured with a picture or a video so remember to carry a camera with enough battery meet numerous birds or here them sing in the bushes, all making the adventure worthwhile.
You continue with your trek as you are treated with an array of different species of trees & flowery shrubs, walking to the sweet bird tunes as you dodge the thorny plants that itch.
Upon reaching the peak of Mount Bisoke, your efforts will be rewarded with romantic views of a crazily beautiful crater lake that is not only the most spectacular in Rwanda but also the entire Virunga region. It makes this long day climb all worthwhile; covered wholly with a large cloud making the temperatures relatively high.
The trek ends at around 5pm, and travelers descend to the starting point, catching up with your driver guide to proceed back to Kigali, marking the end of this dramatic adventure excursion in Rwanda.